Security Advice For Using Video Conference Tools

Cyber security experts are warning people that the video meeting programs we now rely on might not be as secure as some might think. “Zoom bombing” is becoming a trend where people who are not supposed to be able to access Zoom meetings are getting in anyway.  The experts say that people using the program should double check their privacy settings, and shouldn’t post the link to zoom meetings on public forums unless necessary. 

Telecommuting and home-based learning is the new normal and people around the world are using video meetings and its essential that you know how to use video conferencing tools safely. 

In Singapore more than half a million students will be on home-based learning and even more adults will use video meeting working from home.One day after the start of the home-based learning period on April 8 the Singapore Ministry of Education announced that it was suspending Zoom following one incident in which hackers hijacked some students’ Zoom stream and showed pornographic content.

Similar “Zoom bombing” incidents have been reported around the world. In the wake of this and other privacy and cyber security concerns. Zoom has improved some of its security features and meeting controls. So what should users take note of to prevent themselves from becoming victims of harassment, privacy loss and eavesdropping when using video conferencing tools ?

Five Top Tips

  • It is vital to use the latest version of the software so that the bugs of the past would have been removed or fixed.
  • Remember that companies such as Zoom collect personal data such as name, email address, phone number, job title and even employer, as well as the IP address and device being used. Furthermore, if users sign in using Facebook, information will be collected from the Facebook profile. To retain some privacy, avoid using Facebook to sign in. 
  • Do not share your meeting link on public forums or on social media as this makes it easier for unauthorised persons to gain access to your meeting.
  • Familiarise yourself with your platform’s features and settings so as to be secure and protect your virtual space. For instance, Zoom has a “Waiting Room” feature that enables the host to manage the people who join and leave the meeting. Using this feature will enhance your security when hosting a meeting.
  • Users should refrain from using one’s Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host events for the public. One’s PMI is a personal virtual meeting space that should not be open to others, except for close and trusted colleagues or users.

While using their video cameras during a Zoom session, users who want to increase the privacy level and prevent others from seeing the details of their physical background or surroundings can activate the virtual background feature such as a scene from the beach. You can choose to switch off your camera, if the video feature is not required.  

As a host of meetings or conferences, you can take extra precautions. For example, you should retain control of the screen.
Before and during a meeting, you can restrict the ability to screen share, so as to prevent others from sharing undesirable content or snatching control of your screen.

  • Additional security measures include setting up a two-factor authentication. Users can then only get access if they have the randomly generated meeting ID and a password. This enhances the level of security and limited access.
  • Another approach is to only enable signed-in or pre-invited users to join in the meeting.
  • You can “lock the meeting”. This Zoom feature allows the host to prevent others from joining the meeting. In this way, those with the meeting ID and password also cannot enter this virtual meeting room, once it is “locked”.     
  • To increase security and control as a host, you can exercise the option to remove disruptive and undesirable participants from the meeting.
  • You can  put the participants on hold and temporarily disable their video and audio connections to reduce noise and prevent interference.  

Such features will be useful for educators when they are using video-conferencing tools with an excited or vocal group of students.

Besides Zoom, there are other video-conferencing options such as Skype, though it has a limit of a maximum of 50 users per session. Users might also consider using  more secure platforms for business, like Google Meet and Facetime. Microsoft Teams is another free and popular video-conferencing platform with file and screen sharing features, capable of hosting up to 250 participants in a meeting.

Microsoft Teams and Google Meet require users to have accounts with them, whereas Zoom allows users to participate using their web browsers.  

Another leading provider is Cisco Webex, which offers a secure video-conferencing platform that does not require participants to have a Webex account to join the online meetings. Its free version can host up to 100 participants, with a range of features including a white board function and no time limit for meetings.  

Ultimately, each video-conferencing option has its strengths and limitations and the onus is on users to examine the security features carefully and use them effectively. Companies offering video-conferencing tools should highlight to users their security features and make a number of these features the default standard mode of use.

Parents and teachers could also educate their young to be aware of the importance of cyber security and to apply security measures when they are online. Cyber security is an essential life skill to protect us from online dangers and viruses, as we work and learn at home, while we fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today Online:     Today Online:       ABC News:      Technical.ly Baltimore:

You Might Also Read:

Hackers Are Exploiting Remote Workers:

 

« Quantum Computing, Hackers & The Internet of Things
Addressing Cyber Threats With Positive Action »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ManageEngine

ManageEngine

As the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine prioritizes flexible solutions that work for all businesses, regardless of size or budget.

Resecurity, Inc.

Resecurity, Inc.

Resecurity is a cybersecurity company that delivers a unified platform for endpoint protection, risk management, and cyber threat intelligence.

The PC Support Group

The PC Support Group

A partnership with The PC Support Group delivers improved productivity, reduced costs and protects your business through exceptional IT, telecoms and cybersecurity services.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Gartner insights into How to Select the Right ZTNA offering. Download this FREE report for a limited time only.

Quttera

Quttera

Quttera provides Website Security Solutions for Small & Medium Businesses, Enterprises and Organizations.

Spiceworks

Spiceworks

Spiceworks provide a range of free apps for IT professionals including network inventory, network monitor, and help desk.

ENVEIL

ENVEIL

ENVEIL’s technology is the first scalable commercial solution to cryptographically secure Data in Use.

TI Safe

TI Safe

TI Safe provide cybersecurity solutions for industrial networks of main critical infrastructures in Latin America.

Network Box

Network Box

Network Box is one of the world's leading Managed Security Service Providers.

DigiSec360

DigiSec360

DigiSec360 is a technology firm focused on the human element of cybersecurity.

Bechtle

Bechtle

Bechtle is one of Europe’s leading IT service providers offering a blend of direct IT product sales and extensive systems integration services.

E2E Technologies

E2E Technologies

E2E Technologies are a proactive, SLA-beating, managed service provider that busts the common stereotypes surrounding IT.

Byos

Byos

Byos provides visibility of devices across all networks, regardless of location, integrating with your existing security stack.

Alias

Alias

Alias (formerly Alias Forensics) provide penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, incident response and security consulting services.

Marcum Technology

Marcum Technology

Marcum Technology consultants are focused on helping you reach your company’s full potential by exploring creative ways to integrate tomorrow’s technology into your business today.

SilverEdge Government Solutions

SilverEdge Government Solutions

SilverEdge is a next generation provider of innovative and proprietary cybersecurity, software, and intelligence solutions for the Defense and Intelligence Communities.

Cyberguardians

Cyberguardians

Cyberguardians is a team of experienced cybersecurity experts and consultants who always believe in the value and a high level of cybersecurity services to clients.

Zeron

Zeron

Zeron build bridges between security teams and top management. Our platform unifies your cyber risk posture seamlessly, encompassing threat insights and quantifiable risk scenarios.

Forward Networks

Forward Networks

Forward Networks - transforming networks to be more reliable, agile, and secure.

NuKuDo

NuKuDo

NukuDo redefine the boundaries of cybersecurity talent development. We are dedicated to cultivating top-tier professionals equipped to tackle the complex challenges of cybersecurity.